MARSHALL (KMHL) – Avera-Marshall Regional Medical Center is preparing for a surge in coronavirus cases in the Marshall area.

Avera Medical Group clinics will be moved to the Bruce Street location from Carlson Street as it prepares for an increase in patients dealing with upper respiratory symptoms.

“Consolidating clinics to one location for now will help us further prepare for a possible surge of patients needing hospital care in the future,” said Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center Regional President and CEO Mary Maertens. “It will also help us preserve the health of our workforce and conserve resources for critical needs.”

One of the preparations will allow Avera to dramatically increase hospital beds to help handle a significant uptick in patients from around the area.

Dr. Steven Meister, Chief of Staff, at Avera Marshall says they are making preparations to increase hospital beds up to 270 beds if necessary.

“We are getting ready to turn the Carlson Street location into another hospital, if necessary” said Meister.

Meister says the surge taking place in Worthington shows that an outbreak can happen here. He notes that Marshall – like Worthington – has a food production facility, so the same thing could happen here.

He says they are anticipating a surge in the Marshall area from mid to late May through mid to late June.